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Customer Service - USA vs Australia

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Sneddo, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. Sneddo

    Sneddo Tele-Meister

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    Over the past 12 months I have become more interested in building partscasters (pretty much solely due to this forum - thanks guys!). I have built a couple so far, and have a bunch more in mind.

    Anyway, I initially tried to source information and product from local (Australian) vendors. As is typical over here, the chance of getting a response via email is virtually nil. If I could get anyone on the phone I have typically had a disinterested response at best.

    In stark contrast, all the dealings I have had so far from vendors from the states has been outstanding. The guys that come to mind are Matt Jenny from MJT, Jason Lollar and Marc Rutters. Email responses have always been within 24 hours (far less in the case of Rutters - that guy must work 24 hours a day).

    The products I have received so far have been first class, but more importantly to me the level of attention and advice has been invaluable. All to a guy on the other side of the world.

    I'm sure that there are some great vendors over here, and I am all for supporting our local market, but so far the US is kicking our butt on the customer service front.
     
  2. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    Competition is fierce among sellers. Maybe not so in Australia.
     
  3. Boblets

    Boblets Friend of Leo's

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    There is a New Zealand vendor who now operates in Australia as Realparts:
    http://www.realparts.com.au

    They deal in Allparts stuff and seem to have a good reputation for customer service.

    The main problem I have found with Australian parts vendors is insufficient stock when I have needed things.
     
  4. Wallo Tweed

    Wallo Tweed Friend of Leo's

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    Thank you, as you now know, we are all People Persons. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I agree with the competition bit. It's cheaper for me to use American luthier suppliers - hell, it's even cheaper postage, yes, you read that right - it's cheaper for shipping from Ohio than from my own state! And quicker!

    Buying power and market size make things cheaper, and having a few competing companies makes service better.

    In many instances, the Australian vendor is really just in the business of "hoping you'll buy local" and charging accordingly. AKA ripping people off.
     
  6. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    What do you buy locally? Mangoes?
     
  7. Count

    Count Friend of Leo's

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    All the suppliers I have dealt with in Aus have been very good, helpful, reliable, and quick to deliver, in particular I can recommend Realparts and Guitaraust. On rare occasions they have been out of stock on a part, but have been able to get it for me, and to me, as quickly as I would have been able to get it if I was ordering from OS. Maybe you got the ones you were trying on a bad day, I have found them to be helpful both with email and phone enquiries.
    Delivery times seem to depend upon where you live in Aus. E parcels get to me within two days and Express takes a week. Ordinary parcel post takes two weeks minimum and it seems to make no difference wether it is posted from OS or within Aus.
     
  8. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    errr.. those are on the tree in the back yard.... looking good this year too...;). not quite ripe yet... a few more weeks, I'd reckon...:D


    It's easier/cheaper to do mail order for me, being out of town.. no matter which country/supplier I buy from... depends what I'm after.... or my time constraints..
    . my mail man is a cool old Irish dude who plays guitar.. as do his sons... one of them plays one of my guitars in a punk band in the city....:cool:

    at least online you buy exactly what you want for a price you're happy with... and when the post arrives you're happy and have a morning chat with the postie often opening the parcels and showing him.....:lol:

    instead of being hot and flustered from running around the place looking for a stupid small part all day.... burning gas...;)
     
  9. DonMI6

    DonMI6 Tele-Holic

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    I've bought a body & a few other bits from Ace Guitar Parts in Melbourne. I don't know how they compare on price, but I always receive my order within 2-3 days. I'll go with them again for sure.
     
  10. simonc

    simonc Friend of Leo's

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    All I know is, the USPS can ship me gear from pretty much anywhere in the USA , standard international post -faster than Australia post can, from Sydney.
     
  11. Chritty

    Chritty Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't have the same joy with the speed of postage from the States. I allow up to 6 weeks for something to get to NSW from the US. Usually the packages end up with NZ stamps on them too....

    I agree with Sneddo about the level of customer service from the States. I've purchased from Musicians Friend and they were awesome! I also purchased some software from Sweetwater and have received numerous follow up emails from their sales team to make sure that I am happy. The Sweetwater emails also have the email addresses of the upper tier guys on there if you wish to take a complaint/compliment higher.

    It's not to say that I don't get good service from Aus, Swamp Industries in Canberra are particularly good, but the Yanks just go above and beyond!!!
     
  12. Count

    Count Friend of Leo's

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    I agree re Swamp Industries - I have had top service from them. Their Daphon effects pedals are terrific, Chinese made and I suspect that they are made in the same factory as some of the "big name" brand pedals. Do a picture comparison and you will see what I mean.
     
  13. Lunchie

    Lunchie Poster Extraordinaire

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    I sent an inquiry to Kent Armstrong and got a message back from the man himself a couple days later. I thought that was real cool that he took the time to answer my question. I am not ready to make the purchase yet but I will be buying my pups from them in 15-20 years when I finish my second build because of it :D.
     
  14. Chritty

    Chritty Tele-Afflicted

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    I bought a Heil PR-22 microphone because Bob Heil himself wrote brack to an email I sent to the company!!
     
  15. kookaburra

    kookaburra Tele-Afflicted

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    I used to live just south of Newcastle (Terrigal), and I agree about the shipping time. The exception was Stew Mac, man they were fast!

    I actually had done little mail order until About 2010. Sweetwater does offer excellent service!

    My feeling about this subject is that shipping to Oz from the States is pricey, for the most part, so the competition in the past may not have been enough to motivate the Australian suppliers. However, as far back as 2008 I could order twice as many small parts (strings, picks, manuals) from Stew Mac, pay postage, and still come in cheaper than the po-dunk guitar store in Gosford (a small town in NSW).

    I remember growing up in Green Bay, WI and starting to play guitar. The fact that the good Milwaukee music stores were a couple hour drive was enough to allow the Green Bay stores to stick it to people. The online companies changed that, and now Green Bay stores are forced to be competitive. Again, the shipping cost is what trips up this analogy with Australia.
     
  16. krisls

    krisls Tele-Holic

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    I agree that too often we get messed about here for service and especially often, price. That said I'll echo what someone else said. I've only done one parts guitar and bought body, neck and a few other bits from ACE outside Melbourne, good guy to deal with. Also bought some bits from various US people, Callaham for one and they were terrific. But yes, often the US suppliers eat our local lot alive.

    Kristina
     
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